What exactly is a plantar wart?
Plantar warts are skin lesions that occur on the bottom of our feet. These lesions are caused by subtypes of the Human Papilloma Virus, mainly HPV 1, 2 and 4. The virus embeds itself in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis. The virus will then replicate and eventually create skin changes that create a plantar wart.
Warts often can be mistaken for a simple callus or even sometimes a foriegn body, however they actually have a very particular look and come with different clinical symptoms. Warts will often have a bumpy, cauliflower appearance to them. Oftentimes, small black spots can be seen within the lesion. These black spots are actually the tips of blood vessels that the wart draws up to the surface. Warts can be very painful to walk on and also when squeezing it from side to side.
Warts tend to occur around areas where it is warm and when our feet are wet. Wet skin becomes weakened and makes it easier for the virus to enter and embed itself in our skin. The best prevention would be to minimize walking barefoot around pools and at the beach.
There are multiple treatment options for plantar warts. The goal is to remove the affected epidermal skin from the healthy skin. There are various chemicals, cryotherapy, medications and even surgical excision that can accomplish a complete cure. Cantharone, a chemical often applied to warts in the office, is a painless option for curing warts which is a great option for both kids and adults alike. At Healthy Feet Podiatry our doctors can help diagnose plantar warts and formulate an appropriate and effective treatment plan for patients of all ages!